Sandbox Residency

A mold-breaking model for new music

The SPCO Sandbox is a new kind of composer residency program which aims to build a community of curiosity, exploration and collaboration around new music by inviting composers to develop new works in a collaborative process with the orchestra over the course of a season. The idea of placing a composer at the creative center of an orchestra is not new. Indeed, it is this very arrangement that proved such fertile creative ground for composer Franz Joseph Haydn, who famously said of his time embedded with the Esterházy court orchestra that:

As head of an orchestra, I could try things out, observe what creates a good effect and what weakens it, and thus revise, make additions or cuts, take risks. I was cut off from the world, nobody in my vicinity could upset my self-confidence … I had no choice but to become original.

Valerie Coleman is our featured Sandbox composer-in-residence in the 2024.25 season and will workshop her new composition next spring before its premiere May 16-18, 2025. Future Sandbox composer-in-residence Gabriela Lena Frank will begin developing her new Sandbox works for the 2025.26 season.

Upcoming events

Coleman’s Sandbox Premiere with William Eddins

Sandbox Composer-in-Residence Valerie Coleman describes her music as “addressing what is within all of us” (New Music USA) through transformational musical storytelling. Experience the world …

SPCO Sandbox Composer Residencies are made possible with generous project support from:
Amphion Foundation
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music
Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University
David and Karen Olson Family Foundation
Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting
Nara Fund
New Music USA